Custody agreements that do not include clear instructions can lead to numerous problems for a couple trying to find a way to co-parent effectively. Miscommunications or an order that does not define certain issues that a separated couple may encounter increases the chances for disagreements. Crafting a custody order that includes provisions for topics that often lead to contention help you adjust to a new post-separation routine while decreasing the need for litigation in the future. The following custody agreement provisions to consider help avoid common issues that surprise many parents.

Visitation Exchanges

Immediately following a divorce or stress-filled custody battle, seeing a former partner is the last thing that the average person wants to do. However, most custody agreements that include visitation require parents to meet throughout the month or on major holidays to make exchanges.  Including a provision that outlines where exchanges will occur and who is authorized to pick up or drop off a child is recommended if there are certain people (former in-laws, family friends, etc.) you would rather not have involved in the exchange process. Provisions can also outline what time the children should be picked up, when they will be dropped off, and who is responsible for transportation or travel costs if one parent lives out of state.

Tax Credits

Filing taxes after any major life change is a stressful and often time-consuming experience. New laws designed to reduce the growing amount of income tax fraud subjects taxpayers with significant changes to their tax filings to additional review. Having a situation in which both parents attempt to receive child tax credits for their mutual child leads to more problems and additional refund delays for both parties. Including a provision that specifies which parent is able to claim a child as a dependent on tax return filings can avoid future problems between co-parents and the Internal Revenue Service.

Extracurricular Activities

The needs, wants, and interests of your child will change over time. Any child custody agreement should include provisions that give both parents some flexibility regarding their child’s changing needs. As a child grows older and advances through school, he or she will more than likely begin participating in extracurricular activities. These activities may coincide with an existing visitation schedule, causing conflict. Having provisions in your custody agreement that prevent either parent from interfering with extracurricular activities helps ensure that both parents are held accountable for getting children to and from activities that occur regardless of whose parenting time is affected.

Contact an Attorney

Creating an agreement that has the provisions that are best for your unique situation requires the help of an attorney. A qualified child custody agreement and visitation attorney is able to recommend what additional provisions will benefit you by avoiding future conflict or litigation.  The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand how important it is for you and your child to reestablish a normal routine after a separation. Our team will work with you to create an agreement that protects your rights and makes working with your ex-partner tolerable. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our conveniently located Atlanta metro area offices.